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Confrontation: Good or bad?

Get out of my face! There is no need for your hand to be in my face. No reason to raise your voice. Please keep that glare to yourself. There is really no need. You step to me and I step to you and we will see who is woman enough to finish it. I guarantee…..IT WILL BE ME.

In the heat of the battle, everyone wants to be right. We all want to overcome and win. What do we do to prove a point? How do we say what we need to say- set the record straight? The archetypes in our culture of what it means to be tough and taken seriously have shaped not only our opinion of others but our opinion of ourselves. Am I tough enough if I don’t come strong and hard at a wrong done? Did they just call me a punk?

And with this rationale we take on personas that don’t often reflect our true selves. Act in ways that aren’t innate to our character because we are caught off guard by a situation and then default into a caricature. How difficult it is to be peacefully ourselves. Did they just call me a punk?

The word confrontation can immediately activate adrenaline. The body’s response to an impeding altercation. Heart beat rises, the internal pep talk and prepping of impressive one-liners. The recount of the situation to make sure you have your facts together. Every detail tight. Game face- ready.

But can we reset? Reset our social norms and stereotypes to reconfigure what confrontation looks like and is purposed for.

This New Year requires us to confront some things. To take a long hard look in the mirror, at our friends, family, co-workers and confront cyclical chaos. But in order for the chaos to dissipate we must use the right method of confrontation.

Confrontation is humanity’s tool for reconciliation. If you are offended by an action it is your duty to go to that person and address the situation. It is never a good idea to sit and expect the other person to read your mind or body language to discover what went wrong. (Although I do wish human beings were telepathic.)

Confrontation can be a form of kinship. Connecting our brothers to ourselves in restorative ways. I confront you because I love you enough to keep you close to me. I confront you because I love you enough to be honest with you. I confront you because I love you enough to be real with you; I don’t want a fake relationship, fake smiles or fake hugs. I want real love. Can you deal with that? Can you love after that? And here is the crux. Can the confrontation produce relationship and not heartache?

The goal of confrontation is to produce grace in you. Grace to love the other person harder and to forgive. Grace to see the offense you may have caused, own it and make it right. Confrontation is a moment for growth. When did we turn it into a moment for strife? I’ll put my weapon away if you will. Let’s just make it right.

Boldness, humility, grace and compassion the new face of confrontation.

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